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Fan Zone 12/11/2022

Updated: Nov 19, 2022



TU on TV, Torquay United and television are a match made in heaven after not only the thrills and spills of Sunday’s ITV1 FA Cup blockbuster but also the recent eight-goal thriller on BT Sport when United grabbed a Gary Time fourth goal against Altrincham.

Gary Johnson’s side are fast gaining a reputation for wonderful TV football with wholehearted displays which will have had even neutrals on the edge of their seats - TV dreamland.

This time it was recently relegated from the Championship Derby County on the receiving end of Johnson’s never-say-die young lads bolstered by the ever impressive Mark Ellis at the back. What a difference his experience has made.

In both these TV games viewers have had penalties and red cards and not to mention late, late equalisers.


What an occasion Sunday turned out to be despite some horrendous torrential rain so great credit to the club for, firstly, the vast improvements to the drainage and quality of the pitch over the last two pre-seasons not to mention the expense.  And secondly, full-marks to the ground staff for ensuring the game went ahead.

You have to also take your hat off to the club, particularly CEO George Edwards, for the little touches to promote not only the club but also Torbay with the electronic LED pitch advertising specially installed for the occasion and the yellow clackers distributed for free, greatly enjoyed by the children (and young at heart) who used them to create a terrific noisy atmosphere.

For those of us of a certain age this was a cup tie reminiscent of bye-gone days, with the underdogs fighting back and taking the bigger club to a replay.

With 4,269 inside Plainmoor, whilst it may not have been a sold out fixture, it brought in extra fans who may not have watched United for some time. Could the thrilling end see them return to some of the forthcoming home league games?

Derby disappointingly only brought just over 600 but with a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the EFL Carabao Cup on Wednesday, reportedly selling nearly 6,000 tickets, it’s understandable that the majority, in these tough financial times, have chosen Liverpool.

However, it just goes to show how many visiting fans would come into the Bay to boost the local economy were United to regain its EFL status.

So, a replay it is with a trip for the winners to Newport County as ball 31 was the last to be drawn.

With the Derby replay on Tuesday on BBC 3 there’s the prospect of more money into the club and were United to win this the next round at Newport County is also to be on ITV1. United’s TV fame continues!


It was great to see a number of ex-Gulls at the match and I had some good chats with Ian Holloway, such an extrovert, and Kevin Hill, a Torquay manager of the future as he works his apprenticeship as manager at Exmouth Town.

And what a lucky charm having Neil Warnock watching proved to be, for as he explained to me after the game, “I’ve watched five of the teams I’ve managed over my career so far this season, three wins and now two draws and no defeats.” Please could he come back soon!


Before the match Gary Johnson said to the players, “What would you like the TV commentators to say about you?” as a motivation.

Guess Will Goodwin took this to heart for he ‘won’ the penalty and scored the 90+5 minute late goal drama, well it certainly felt like a good win. Congratulations to him after being named in the Vanarama FA Cup Team of the Week.


FA Cup Giant Killers’ Crowd Watch: Alvechurch won at Cheltenham in front of 4,406, Northampton Town crashed out at Chesterfield watched by 5,886, 3,965 saw King’s Lynn grab a Round 2 tie at the expense of Doncaster Rovers, Chippenham Town had an historic victory over Lincoln City with 2,175.

Other notable FA Cup crowds: Portsmouth survived an early scare at Hereford FC before winning comfortably in front of 4,912 while Forest Green Rovers, including Armani Little, won at South Shields with 3,800 in attendance.


With the main side grabbing an FA Cup lifeline, Ryan Dickson’s Under-18s bowed out of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-1 defeat away to Oxford United. 3-0 down at half-time United had a better second half with George Collins scoring a consolation goal.

Torquay’s Women’s side battled to a close 1-0 league victory over Bristol Rovers Women thanks to an early strike from Mia Preston.


Aaron Jarvis who claimed the match ball was the first hat-trick by a Torquay player against Aldershot since March 1965 scored by….Robin Stubbs. And he also scored the previous hat-trick against the Shots in December 1964.

When I reminded Robin of these feats he recalled his third in 1965 was from the half-way line; he always did score spectacular goals.

And on the same night Jarvis scored his three, ex-Gull Billy Waters hit his first career hat-trick for Barrow.


Last Tuesday’s National League fixtures drew in another batch of impressive crowd figures: 9,914 at Wrexham, 6,389 at Notts County, 6,178 at Chesterfield while Southend took 2,000 to Barnet.

Despite the off field disputes amongst their fans, Bury AFC won 2-0 in front of 1,261.


There were over 2,000 inside Home Park last week for the funeral of popular BBC Radio Devon and Argyle fan Gordon Sparks. His coffin was carried out of the ground to the sound of Status Quo’s ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’.


Save the date: TUST’s AGM is being held at Torquay Athletic Rugby club on Thursday November 24th. More details next week.

United’s new third shirt is described as ‘beetroot purple’. Is that your taste? Are you likely to buy one? or Twitter: @FanszoneT

So, it was a return to league action on Tuesday with the visit of the Wanderers, no not Bolton or even Wycombe but newcomers Dorking. Another three points would have been welcome, potentially taking us out of the bottom four but it wasn’t to be. The only winners were those who, before the game, predicted plenty of goals. As the Dorking owner/manager Marc White said, to win a game they have to score four and Gary Johnson could say the same!

Then tomorrow high-flying Chesterfield come to the Bay with or without Lucas Covolan?





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